Partyarchy With Agorism

partyarchyagorism

Travis Hallman, 7/15/2018

Agorism and Partyarchism are both libertarian social philosophies that advocate for all relations between people to be voluntary exchanges. However, they both have very different means. Agorists claim that such a society could be more readily established by employing methods such as:

  • education
  • direct action
  • alternative currencies
  • entrepreneurship
  • self sufficiency
  • civil disobedience
  • counter-economics (AKA black markets)

The purpose of employing these methods of self-governance is to defund the state until it cannot afford to exist.

Partyarchs pursue a free-society through political parties via campaigning, voting, and holding offices. This includes the vetoing of draconian legislation, as well as passing bills designed to allow for greater freedom.

The debate between these methods has raged for decades, possibly millennia. It is worth considering that there may be no single, conclusive right or wrong path to a free society.

The study or practice of self-governance is very insightful by helping people realize they do not need a government in order to progress in a peaceful manner. Homeschooling is an example of autonomy which teaches parents that government-funded schools are not necessary. Here are a couple of examples, in support of agorism, that teach how civil disobedience and counter-economics can effectively cause politicians to remove laws:

According to Civil Disobedience Weekly, “Gandhi led the Salt March in 1930, in order to eliminate the Salt Tax, a tax on salt, which harmed India’s poor population. The Salt Tax was beneficial to the British as they financed subjugation of India by the Salt Tax. If having India as a colony was no longer profitable for the British, the Indians thought they would eventually leave. This did end up happening, because after World War II, the British did not want to stay. They did not want to raise taxes from their own people for a war against India, and they did not want to spend their money on a war.”

According to Freedom Leaf, “Large gatherings of pot smokers in Colorado each year on 4/20 signaled the public groundswell of support for legalization. Major events that include public smoking, like Seattle Hempfest and the Boston Freedom Rally, have served as the main vehicles for political reform.”

However, is self-governance the only path to a free society? The laws would not have been removed if the politicians didn’t consent to removing them.

Here are a few examples of counter-economics that have been practiced around the world:

According to The New Libertarian Manifesto on page 20 (written in 1983):

“In the Soviet Union, a bastion of arch-statism and a nearly totally collapsed ‘official’ economy, a giant black market provides the Russians, Armenian, Ukrainian and others with everything from food to television repair to official papers and favors from the ruling class. As the Guardian Weekly reports, Burma is almost a total black market with the government reduced to an army, police, and a few strutting politicians. In varying degrees, this is true of nearly all the Second and Third Worlds.

Italy, for example, has a ‘problem’ of a large part of its civil services which works officially from 7 A.M. to 2 P.M. working unofficially at various jobs the rest of the day earning ‘black’ money.

The Netherlands has a large black market in housing because of the high regulation of this industry. Denmark has a tax evasion movement so large that those in it seduced to politics have formed the second largest party. .. Currency controls are evaded rampantly; in France, for example, everyone is assumed to have a large gold stash and trips to Switzerland for more than touring and skiing are commonplace.

..

According to the American Internal Revenue Service, at least twenty million people belong in the ‘underground economy’ of tax evaders using cash to avoid detections of transactions or barter exchange. Millions keep money in gold or in foreign accounts to avoid the hidden taxation of inflation. Millions of ‘illegal aliens’ are employed, according to the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Millions more deal or consume marijuana and other prescribed drugs, including laetrile and forbidden medical material.

And there are all the practitioners of ‘victimless crimes.’ Besides drug use, there are prostitution, pornography, bootlegging, false identification papers, gambling, and proscribed sexual conduct between consenting adults.

..

But it doesn’t stop here. Since the 55 mph speed limit enacted federally in the U.S., most Americans have become counter-economic drivers. The trucking industry has developed CB communications to evade state enforcement of regulations. For independents who can make four runs at 75 mph rather than three runs at 55 mph, counter-economic driving is a question of survival.

The ancient custom of smuggling thrives today from boatloads of marijuana and foreign appliances with high tariffs and truckloads of people from less- developed countries to the tourists stashing a little extra in their luggage and not reporting to customs agents.”

Citizens are not directly culpable for the system in place; however, how do agorists justify reconciling their means to a free society with traveling on government-funded roads or using federal reserve notes for trading or providing commonwealth government identifiers (such as a social security number and a zip code) to attain a job? Is it possible, at all, to be a pure agorist in the United States of America? If an agorist is anything less than pure then is it still self governance?

Agorists only support engaging in political activity as a means to educate voters about the unnecessity of voting. According to The New Libertarian Manifesto on page 28 (written in 1983), “The best form of organization is a Libertarian Alliance in which you steer the members from political activity (where they have blindly gone seeking relief from oppression) and focus on education, publicity, recruitment and perhaps some anti-political campaigning (i.e. ‘Vote For Nobody,’ ‘None of the Above’, ‘Boycott the Ballot,’ ‘Don’t Vote, It Only Encourages Them!’ etc.) to publicize the libertarian Alternative.”

According to The American, “Only 1.3 percent of the total population—38,818 people—cast ballots in the first presidential election.” Yet, a ruling class was still created. How do agorists intend to get 100% of the population to refrain from voting? This task is seemingly impossible considering how many citizens want a voice in the political arena.

What are some large/major efforts taken by agorists to educate the public about the benefits of a free society? Do agorists voluntarily create collectives to educate others on the benefits of a free society? Please visit the bottom of this article to view a list of agorists.

The entirety of the Libertarian Party is a large/major effort taken by partyarchs collectivizing to educate the public about the benefits of a free society. Partyarchs seem to be championing this field of educating others. Please visit the bottom of this article to view a list of partyarchs.

The following questions are intended to challenge the philosophical means of agorists:

  • If offered, would you accept the opportunity to present the benefits of a free society on a government funded tv channel?
  • Since aggression is ethically justified as self-defense and voting for statists causes aggression toward yourself and/or others; then would voting for partyarchs be self-defense?
  • Is agorism appealing to minarchists, classical liberals, right-anarchists, and other interpretations of the non-aggression principle?

The following questions are intended to challenge the philosophical means of partyarchs:

  • Would you not engage in profitable civil disobedience and/or counter-economics if you were presented with an opportunity?
  • How do you intend to defund and dismantle the state if everyone exclusively engages in the white market?
  • If elected, would you resort to agorist means if the state resisted your legislation creating a free society?

Are the means from each social philosophy so different that the two cannot work together toward a voluntary society? Seemingly, everyone engages in some amount of agorism, whether paying the least amount possible in taxes, bartering (without payment of taxes), civil disobedience (such as consuming cannabis), gardening, or something entirely different. This includes agorists, partyarchs, and everyone else. According to The New Libertarian Manifesto on page 21 (written in 1983), “To some extent, then, everybody is a counter-economist! And this is predictable from libertarian theory. Nearly every aspect of human action has statist legislation, prohibiting, regulating or controlling it.”

The New Libertarian Manifesto (written in 1983) on pages 28 – 31 describes the transition from a statist society to a free society using agorist means; beginning with phase 0 and ending at phase 4. The author describes part of phase 3 in the following manner, “Wars and rampant inflation with depressions and crack-ups become perpetual as the State attempts to redeem its authority.” This statement begs to ask the question, “Would the state initiate aggressive wars if the state consists predominantly of partyarchs or would the partyarchs simply allow for a free society (considering that’s also the end goal of partyarchs)?”

Agorism “vs” partyarchism is a false dichotomy. The two are not competitive in reality; whereas, partyarchism with agorism would be cooperative and compatible. At minimum, the supporters of either philosophical means can work together to educate others about the benefits of a free society.

Consistencies offer legitimacy to any philosophy. As written in The New Libertarian Manifesto on page 3 (written in 1983), “Consistency of ends, of means, of ends and means.” Agorists claim that since there would be no political arena in the end then engaging in a political arena as a means would be inconsistent. However, the political arena is aggressive so using aggression as defense would be justified ethically. This remains consistent with the means and end because aggression (unfortunately) will always occur; so defensively using aggression as a means would not be inconsistent with the end. Here is a short video detailing how aggression would be resolved in a free society.

According to Lysander Spooner, “In truth, in the case of individuals, their actual voting is not to be taken as proof of consent, even for the time being. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, without his consent having even been asked a man finds himself environed by a government that he cannot resist; a government that forces him to pay money, render service, and forego the exercise of many of his natural rights, under peril of weighty punishments. He sees, too, that other men practice this tyranny over him by the use of the ballot. He sees further, that, if he will but use the ballot himself, he has some chance of relieving himself from this tyranny of others, by subjecting them to his own. In short, he finds himself, without his consent, so situated that, if he use[s] the ballot, he may become a master; if he does not use it, he must become a slave. And he has no other alternative than these two. In self- defence, he attempts the former. His case is analogous to that of a man who has been forced into battle, where he must either kill others, or be killed himself. Because, to save his own life in battle, a man takes the lives of his opponents, it is not to be inferred that the battle is one of his own choosing. Neither in contests with the ballot — which is a mere substitute for a bullet — because, as his only chance of self-preservation, a man uses a ballot, is it to be inferred that the contest is one into which he voluntarily entered; that he voluntarily set up all his own natural rights, as a stake against those of others, to be lost or won by the mere power of numbers. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, in an exigency into which he had been forced by others, and in which no other means of self-defence offered, he, as a matter of necessity, used the only one that was left to him.”

Here is a long list of individual agorists educating others about the benefits of a free society: Larken Rose, Patrick Smith, Peter Kallman, James Corbett, Derrick Broze, J. Neil Schulman, Wally Conger, Gary Greenberg, and very few more.

Here is a short list of partyarchs educating others about the benefits of a free society: Adam Kokesh, Darryl Perry, Mary J. Ruwart, Arvin Vohra, John McAfee, Will Coley, Craig Bowden, Caryn Ann Harlos, and very many more. *Disclaimer: the partyarchs on this list have engaged in the political arena with serious intentions of using their elected political positions to work toward a free society and may or may not have engaged or supported agorist means too.

In liberty,

-Travis Hallman

 

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Not A Good Plan, Even On Paper

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Kris Morgan 5/10/2018

Most of us have either heard or used the saying ‘It’s a good plan on paper, but it just doesn’t work out in real life,‘ when discussing Marxism. With libertarians being the underdogs in politics, it seems we should just be glad the person we are conversing with is open to that concession. However, when we appease our opponents by pretending it’s not a bad plan, we keep the door open to the ideas. If we want to permanently crush his ideas, we have to go for the jugular. It is my hope that by using what follows effectively we will be able to do that.

When discussing such a complex topic, it is wise to adequately describe our terms. Marxism here is defined as the dictatorship of the proletariat through the political means. The labor class in society seizes control of the political power structure, in our case the Federal Government, and uses its power to create a classless society. For this to happen, everyone must get an equal share of resources despite providing different services. There are no capitalists as the market abolished, and all production is directed by the state.

Nobody should shy away from saying these ideas are terrible on paper, have never worked out anywhere to date, nor will they in the future. The notion that organizing a population in such a way would succeed in peace, harmony, and prosperity is hinged on believing many things contrary to our daily experiences. For example, we accept that a single private company having a monopoly over just one product would lead to low quality and high costs. Marxism demands we believe a small group of politicians controlling everything would yield a much better outcome.

Additionally, receiving the same amount of resources regardless of function mocks something all workers experience at some point in our lives. Attaining skills and/or college instruction is an investment we make in ourselves. We expand on our abilities in hopes of using them to make a higher income. Still, there are those who make no such investments and stick to roles which require only a willingness to work. If there is no reward of higher income, the number of people investing in themselves will be vastly reduced. While we all would prefer a doctor who loves helping others enough to do so for free or very little, we are willing to accept one who does it for profit to having no doctor at all.

Does it really sound good on paper for those with no skills to make the same as the ones who made themselves more valuable? Does the janitor really deserve the same pay as the doctor? Are we prepared to say the act of cleaning floors matches that of saving lives? Don’t misunderstand, it’s not that the doctor’s life is worth more than the janitor’s, only that the task being performed is in higher demand. The skill set of a doctor is also far more scarce than that of a janitor.

Marxism’s own contradictions are the final case against it as a plausible plan. First, the dictatorship of the proletariat is a goal inconsistent to that of a classless society. There is no better way to create divisions than for one group to control the entire economy. Attempts at weeding out all the capitalists will always run futile since individuals are perfectly capable of fluctuating between laborer and entrepreneur, and often hold both roles simultaneously. In fact, major parts of the Soviet Union operated only due to black market operations. The classes would not disappear. They’d simply be redefined and entrepreneurship swept underneath the rug. Rather than having separations based on income or whether their role involves investment or labor, they’d be rooted in power politics.

According to Marxist logic, the bourgeoisie have more than the lower classes due to systematic exploitation of surplus labor value. The lower classes rising up and installing a dictatorship is a response to this injustice. But the abuses committed by the capitalists are based on economics, not politics. Assuming this reasoning holds, are we to believe complete economic and political power in the hands of a few would not result in similar or worse exploitation? If economic power split up by many capitalists is bad, how can total power embodied by a single group be good? Would the proletariat not also become entrepreneurs in this system, as the state directs production?

There is no reason whatsoever to beat around the bush. Marxism is a terrible plan on paper and in practice has been a disaster. In a century of communist experiments, over 100 million people have died, according to the Wall Street Journal. The contradictions are obvious and the issue of trusting people with unlimited power really should put the matter to rest. The plan is rooted in hatred for capitalists with economic influence, and relies on trust for laborers-turned-entrepreneurs with no limits on power. Let’s not be afraid to be bold, but still respectful, and refuse to entertain the idea that Marxism is a good plan that just didn’t pan out.

 

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Four Dead In Ohio

Kent State Shooting

By Jennifer Flower  4/23/2018

Imagine being a college student and seeing your sibling, high school classmates, or even acquaintances drafted into military service without any say in the matter. Imagine being worried you could be drafted into a war overseas you didn’t understand the reasons for fighting. Imagine then 1,000 National Guard Troops descending on your campus. It seems far-fetched today, but in reality, we are still debating, discussing and protesting many of the same issues that came to a head 48 years ago today.

A group of students were protesting the Vietnam War spreading into Cambodia. The students and police had increasing confrontations, with the police accusing some students of throwing things at them. The Ohio National Guard was called in on May 2nd. The confrontations escalated over the next two days, culminating in the tragic death of several students.

In the days leading up to the Kent State Massacre, there was vandalism in downtown Kent, Ohio. Police officers claimed to have been hit by bottles thrown by protesters. Bars had to close early and a curfew was imposed on the residents. The Kent State ROTC Building was also burned down. No one to this day knows with certainty who started the fire, but it is now believed to have been a group of radical protesters who were not students.

Governor Rhodes further inflamed tensions by calling the protesting students “the worst type of people that we harbor in America.” A group of fully equipped National Guard members using tear gas and bayonets eventually opened fire on a crowd of students. Four students were killed and nine were injured. Two of the murdered students, not even involved in the protests, were simply walking to class.

The father of one of the victims on the day after the shooting said “Is dissent a crime? Have we come to such a state in the country that a young girl has to be shot because she disagrees deeply with the actions of her government?”

No accounts indicate that the students committed violence against any person. However, It does appear that the student protesters initiated force through vandalism, violating the Non-Aggression Principle. The perpetrators should have been held responsible for the damaged property.

This option of obtaining restitution from the protesters, however, was taken off the table the moment the National Guard began firing on unarmed students. During the protests, there were up to 3,000 protesters and approximately 1,000 Guardsmen on and around Kent State University. But it’s unclear how many active protesters there were at the time of the incident, as there were students and onlookers walking around campus and simply walking to classes. There were 77 Guardsmen. 28 fired upon the crowd, shooting 70 rounds over a 13 second period.

Freedom of assembly and speech are what Libertarian theory consider Natural Rights and they are protected in the First Amendment to the Constitution. The students absolutely had a right to protest the Vietnam War and to peacefully assemble to demand their voices be heard. They did not have the right to commit vandalism.

The National Guard escalated the confrontations all the way up to shooting indiscriminately into a crowd of students. There is no justification for that and indeed the shooting did not make students at other universities around the country think twice about protesting the war. It only served to escalate and inflame the already heightened tensions of protests around the country.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. We still have tensions on college campuses as to the direction of free speech on campus. Should students be required to stay within “free speech” zones on campuses? If they’re on the grounds of a public university, should students be free to openly exercise their first amendment rights of assembly and speech without interference since it should be considered public land?

President Trump announced that the US military was bombing Syria in retaliation to an alleged chemical weapons attack on Syrian Civilians and the US Military recently killed “a couple hundred” Russians in Syria in February of 2018; which could have spiraled out of control almost instantly. Increased outcry against escalating military intervention has been seen from all ends of the political spectrum.

Those who don’t gain the wisdom of the past will repeat its mistakes. It’s ok if we, as a society, are still figuring out how to handle freedom of speech on college campuses. It’s ok to discuss exactly what that “red line” is that would require US intervention overseas. Any time we have the opportunity to learn from our past, we should strive to. It is how we will progress as a society. It should be clear that the Libertarian standard is to wage peace and speak freely, even the most unpopular opinions.

Tin Soldiers and Nixon coming
We’re finally on our own
This summer I hear the drumming
Four dead in Ohio
– Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

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Who Are The Cronies Part III: Prisons

prison

Kris Morgan 2/14/2018

In parts one and two of this series we dealt with the military-industrial complex and the banking industry. The issue regarding prisons is a little less well-known, but is even more unjust than the others. Nothing is less libertarian than taking freedom from a person who has not violated another’s rights. Sadly, the United States holds 25% of the world’s prisoners despite carrying only 5% of the total world population. Perhaps by examining the beneficiaries of these conditions we can shed some light on how the ‘land of the free’ has come to this.

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is the fifth largest corrections organization in the country, behind the Federal Government and three states. According to their site they “specialize in the design, construction, expansion and management of prisons, jails and detention facilities, along with residential reentry services, as well as inmate transportation services through its subsidiary company TransCor America.”
Damon T. Hininger, CCA CEO and President

hininger

Hininger joined the company in 1992. He has had Vice President and Business Analysis positions as well as working in Federal and Local customer relations. According to salary.com his base pay is over $861,000 and over $2mil in stock value, and over $3mil total compensation.

 

GEO Group (previously Wackenhut) is another large prison company. Shamelessly, they very enthusiastically advertise their relation with the government on their page. “GEO’s U.S. Corrections and Detention division oversees the operation and management of approximately 75,500 beds in 71 correctional and detention facilities. GEO’s U.S. Corrections & Detention division provides services on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Marshals Service, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as 9 state correctional clients and various county and city jurisdictions.”

George C. Zoley, CEO, Chairman of the Board, and Founder

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Bloomberg ran a summary of Zoley. “Mr. Zoley founded GEO Care Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of The GEO Group, Inc. in 1984 and serves as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He serves as Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of Wackenhut Corrections of The Wackenhut Corporation. He served as the President Geo of Group Inc. since 1988.” According to the article he made $5,176,221 last year.

While managing and operating prisons has made plenty people rich, Attn.com points out money is also made providing inmate services. Ashley Nicole Black displayed her understanding of the economics involved when she wrote of the phone call service. “Few companies hold a virtual monopoly on the service and even pay the state a profit based commission. Remember, it’s the state that hires these companies. When the state is making money off these phone calls, do you think they are really interested in negotiating a fair, cost-effective phone plan for their prisoners?”

The following are examples of companies which make profit from offering services to inmates at what essentially amounts to monopoly prices.

 

Steve Rector, Corizon CEO

rector

According to their website, “as the correctional healthcare pioneer and leader for 40 years, Corizon Health provides client partners with high quality healthcare and reentry services that will improve health and safety of our patients…” In January 2018, the Kansas City Star reported Corizon had $2bn in contracts with Missouri and Kansas alone. Mr. Rector’s compensation information was unavailable.

 

Finally, we come to Global Tel-Link. According to their own site, GTL “serves approximately 2,300 facilities and 1.8 million inmates in 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Our products and services are deployed in 32 state DOC contracts (including 8 of the largest 10) and over 650 counties, including many of the largest city/county run jail facilities. We also provide service to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.”

Brian D. Oliver, Global Tel-Link CEO

Oliver

Per Bloomberg, “Mr. Oliver was responsible for leading Global Tel*Link Corporation’s due diligence review with respect to new potential investments in the telecommunications and related sectors and overseeing portfolio companies once investments have been completed in those sectors. Mr. Oliver joined GTL from Gores Technology Group, LLC…” Compensation information was not available.

One can argue that these services are necessary, and the market is merely providing services, even to those in jail. However, it is clear the income generated by providing these services is stimulated by government created demand for them. Attn reminds us “the War on Drugs has also created ballooning prison populations by increasing arrests for petty offenses (such as marijuana possession). America has the longest first time drug offense sentences (5-10 years) of developed nations. …65 percent of private prison contracts require an occupancy guarantee. That means states must have a certain amount of prisoners — typically between 80 and 90 percent of occupancy — or pay companies for empty beds. Talk about bad incentives — a state throws money away if it does not have enough prisoners.” There are a lot of people with a lot of money riding on maintaining or increasing prison populations in the US and abroad.

To drive the point home, the Washington Post reported in 2015 that “several reports have documented instances when private-prison companies have indirectly supported policies that put more Americans and immigrants behind bars – such as California’s three-strikes rule and Arizona’s highly controversial anti-illegal immigration law – by donating to politicians who support them.”

Marco Rubio can be viewed as a case-study of how the relationship between prisons and politicians works. “While Rubio was leading the House, GEO was awarded a state government contract for a $110 million prison soon after Rubio hired an economic consultant who had been a trustee for a GEO real estate trust. Over his career, Rubio has received nearly $40,000 in campaign donations from GEO, making him the Senate’s top career recipient of contributions from the company.”  

The economic incentives surrounding the prison sector have clear and harsh consequences for the rest of us. The people we are supposed to trust with our security have taken that trust and twisted it into building a system which profits from our imprisonment. No private persons would ever be capable of such crimes against humanity without politics to support it. Our goal should be to reverse these trends in their tracks.

 

Part I                                                             Part II                                                         Part IV

 

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Meet The LNC Vice Chair Candidates

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The Feldman Foundation recently hosted a debate featuring the candidates running for the upcoming LNC Vice Chair position. They offered a series of 10 questions to see where they stand on several issues. We at Ask A Libertarian sent that same list of questions, offering each candidate the opportunity to consider their thoughts and respond accordingly. The following pages include their replies along with a brief bio.

Much like the team at Ask A Libertarian, The Feldman Foundation’s goal is to “Immerse liberty into the American political system.” Their mission is “to impact the political realm with engagement, resources, training, ground efforts and strategy toensure legislation is repealed which does not align with a free America.”

Ask A Libertarian is a team of volunteers who strive to provide a quality platform for libertarians to engage with libertarians and non-libertarians alike, to spread the message of liberty while keeping the public informed of libertarian values, principles, and current events within the party.

We present Mr. Alex Merced, Mr. Arvin Vohra, Mr. James Weeks II, Mr. Joe Hauptmann, Mr. Joe Paschal, and Mr. Steve Sheetz.

Meet PA Senatorial Candidate Dale Kerns

David Beaver, January 29, 2018

The Senate races are heating up across the country and the state of Pennsylvania is no exception. With soon to be former Congressman Lou Barletta taking on the incumbent, Senator Bob Casey many are unaware that there’s a third candidate in the race. Senatorial candidate Dale Kerns plans to change that as he runs for the seat with the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania. A former businessman and Eddystone borough councilman he is not what you would describe as a typical career politician and has stated that if elected he will only serve one term.

“…I will not accept a pension, will not take the healthcare, and will only run for one term. I am not part of DC and will not allow myself to be either. I am asking for one term to get some work done, and take back the seat in DC owned by Pennsylvanians and hijacked by the two-party system.” he said in a recent interview. While acknowledging the struggles of running with a third party, especially in fundraising, he is very optimistic about his chances of winning. “Being that our team is volunteer-based, and we are fiscally responsible, we do not need millions to win, but we do need to raise more.”

With opponents like Lou Barletta fighting it out over wedge issues like immigration Dale Kerns has placed individual liberties and the values of small government at the forefront of his campaign. He has also taken on controversial issues, hosting town halls across the state discussing the opioid crisis and proposing unique solutions. He believes in allowing the free market to provide addiction treatments and in treating drug use as a medical issue rather than as a matter of criminal justice. His proposed bill, Addiction is Not a Crime would in effect accomplish these goals, and he has been busy advocating for it around the state. In addition to providing treatment for addicts in lieu of prison sentences he has also supported a controversial measure in which clinics around the country would off maintenance levels of heroin for addicts who reject treatment, citing its success in Portugal who has seen a drop as high as 90% in drug-related HIV infections and a rate of drug-induced deaths that has fallen to a stunning five times lower than the European Union average as a result of its more lenient and care-based policies.

In addition to shrinking the size and scope of federal government, and enforcing constitutional restrictions on its authority, Kerns has stated a number other goals in running.

“I want to show everyone that a Libertarian can be elected and that they want more Libertarians. I want them to know they don’t have to choose the lesser of two evils anymore – we are here to free them from that burden.”

A loving husband and father of two he also expressed a more personal goal in his pursuit of the Senate seat:

“I now have two young girls that cannot know the world we live in, and the world we are headed towards. I owe them the best life, a life of freedom.”

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The Quest For Moral Superiority

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Kris Morgan  September 17, 2017

Liberals believe in big government at home, whereas conservatives support an interventionist foreign policy.  The two combined have given us a welfare/warfare state that cannot last.  The United States has accumulated over 20 trillion dollars in debt, over 127 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, killed innocent people abroad, and jailed millions of peaceful people.  In spite of this, the Federal Government shows no signs of slowing down.  How is it that the “freest nation in the world” manages to imprison more of its citizens than North Korea, a communist dictatorship?  Ironically, these evils exist because our debates revolve around attempts at gaining the moral upper-hand rather than an unhindered search for truth.

Since politics is always a question of when it becomes morally acceptable to use force, our views reflect our sense of justice.  We assume ourselves good and just upon entering political debates.  As a result, we define opposing ideas as unjust.  Any admission on our part that our beliefs are flawed inherently implies the other person is more just and morally superior.  These biases cause our conversations to get out of hand.

For example, many believe that the United States did not provoke Osama Bin Laden to carry out the 9/11 attacks.  Some lash out when presented with a review of US interventions in the Middle East, including sanctions in the 1990s that lead to half-a-million children dying, and our Secretary of State affirming their deaths were acceptable.  They often label the messenger as part of the “blame-America-first” crowd and ignore the facts.

Conservatives who push for interventionism abroad are frequently combative to those who highlight US aggression.  They dismiss the opposition with cliches about how the world is an unfriendly place, or claim the dissenter hates America. Admitting the US is a hostile nation contradicts their view that America is the greatest country on the planet.  To backtrack on that base belief would make them appear weak and discredit their moral authority, so they often react with a critique of their own without acknowledging yours.  This method is not restricted to conservatives.

Liberals voice support for civil liberties, yet favor central economic controls.  When an opponent points out that economic controls are violations of our freedom, they claim their foe is uncaring to those in need.  Their inconsistency goes unrecognized as they focus on attacking their opponents.  It is easier to blindly accuse adversaries of being sexists, racists, or wanting the needy to starve than face their contradiction.

Democrats and Republicans alike listen to their own bases.  If their supporters are not willing to admit discrepancies in their platforms, then politicians will continue to roam free.  The welfare/warfare state will endure until there is no wealth left to tax and the currency hyper-inflates.  Making excuses, creating strawmen, deflecting legitimate critiques, and ignoring new information has allowed our government to grow completely out of control. It is an unsustainable model for political discourse.

One can argue that libertarians are not exempt from taking part in this manner of conversation, and there may be some valid critiques.  However, libertarians have a ‘north star’ with which to follow.  While Republicans and Democrats have only their own sense of moral superiority to guide them, libertarians have the Non-Aggression Principle. This keeps our personal virtues away from our politics.  For instance, a libertarian may wish for society to build a sound safety net.  Nevertheless, progressive taxation is the initiation of force and is accordingly rejected by libertarians.  Libertarians do not use morality to justify coercion.

We are being taken advantage of by a system that knows people have a desire to appear morally strong, so much so that they will defend politicians in order to protect themselves.  The best way to smash this system is to set aside our own egos, admit when we are wrong, develop consistent ideologies, and hold our rulers accountable. We have to make this change if we are ever going to claim our rightful place as the dominant party in our relationship with our power structure.

 

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UBI Part III: Alternatives

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Kris Morgan   September 21, 2017

Universal Basic Income (UBI) comes with high costs.  Economically, it will inhibit growth by placing a tax burden on production, making it more difficult to start new businesses and for small ones to compete.  Taxation also detracts from funds which could be used for reinvestment.  Monetizing more debt would put heavier pressure on our already weak dollar, as well as cause malinvestments.  Our government is not only 20 trillion dollars in debt, but it presently holds over 127 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, in addition to wartime spending.  If we do not reject the UBI on our own terms, basic economics will force the issue.  That does not mean we must embark on the future without a plan.

Fortunately, plenty of economic reforms have been presented which are worthy of support.  Regulations that do not directly protect the property rights of others can be discarded.  Overtime rules, wage floors, truth in advertising, licensing requirements, and others restrict market forces from allocating resources to meet demand efficiently.  For example, the operant assumption in truth in advertising is that a particular business has engaged in false advertising, until proven otherwise.  By pushing back harmful regulations, we give ourselves a fighting chance to build.  It is unwise to face an uncertain future with our hands tied.  

Support for UBI indicates people have empathy for those who are unable to adequately adapt.  UBI is a means of expressing this feeling.  The alternative to government power is the conduit of civil society.  Entrepreneurs could market goods and services as products which support jobs.  Consumers can use purchasing power to reinforce such ventures, and philanthropists could fill in the remaining vacuum.  

UBI has brought attention to significant defects in our education system.  Its original intent may have been to create a labor force suitable for factory work, rather than enlightened critical thinkers.  In 1903, when John D. Rockefeller founded the General Education Board, his advisor Frederick Gates informed “…We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning of science. We are not to raise among them authors, orators, poets, or men of letters.  We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians…”  

This design was confirmed in 1990 by New York Teacher of the Year John Taylor Gatto, who said the following during his acceptance speech: “…Schools are intended to produce through the application of formulae, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.  To a very great extent, schools succeed in doing this. But our society is disintegrating, and in such a society, the only successful people are self-reliant, confident, and individualistic…”  

Education to induce conformity may have worked in the past, but it will not suffice any longer.  According to careerfaqs.com, the skills needed in the future include cognitive flexibility, creativity, critical thinking, and complex problem solving, among a few others. We should be pressuring our local school boards to focus on building skill sets, such as these, which are projected for future success.

As parents, we should not leave the task entirely to school.  Computer competence can be taught in our homes.  By teaching our kids a programming language, we could give them a head start in facing the future with a marketable skill.  If need be, we could find someone to act as a tutor.  

It is clear that the areas which need the most reform are our economy and our education system.  Our children must be able to exercise their creative muscles, and it is fundamental they be economically free to adapt.  Anyone supporting the idea of UBI without considering our weak financial position should consider what is addressed in this article.  It is not a question of whether we will have to take responsibility for ourselves, it is whether a severe economic crash will be the cause.

 

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Black-American Libertarians

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Travis Hallman  September 20, 2017

Recently a friend from high school told me he switched from supporting voluntary socialism to democratic socialism because there are not enough Black-Americans within the liberty-movement. Respectably, he said this concerns him because minorities know what’s best for minorities. This author agrees that individuals (including minorities) know what’s best for themselves. The purpose of this article is to highlight a few Black-American Libertarians and why libertarianism is the most caring solution for minorities.

“Averaging across nine Reason-Rupe surveys I conducted at Reason Foundation/Reason Magazine with Princeton Survey Research Associates between 2012-2014 and a recent survey we conducted here at the Cato Institute with YouGov, here’s what we find: Among those who self-identify as ‘libertarian’, 71 percent are Caucasian, 14 percent are Latino, 5 percent are African-American, 8 percent identify as another race, and 4 percent chose not to identify. While not an exact reflection, these numbers are similar to the demographic makeup of all respondents averaged across the surveys: 67 percent white, 13 percent Latino, 12 percent African-American , 7 percent identifying as other, and 1 percent not identifying.”

https://www.cato.org/blog/libertarians-are-more-racially-diverse-people-realize

What is libertarianism?

“Libertarians strongly oppose any government interference into their personal, family, and business decisions. Essentially, we believe all Americans should be free to live their lives and pursue their interests as they see fit as long as they do no harm to another”

https://www.lp.org/about/

 

Black-American Libertarian Revolutionaries

Mr. Thomas Sowell:

sowelll2

“Currently Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution in Stanford, CA. His writing is always strongly in favor of free-market economic policy and a libertarian social policy.”
https://www.theadvocates.org/libertarianism-101/libertarian-celebrities/thomas-sowell/

 

Mr. Walter E. Williams:

Williams2

“In this lecture given at a Libertarian Party of Georgia event in 1991, [Walter] Williams talks about libertarianism generally and relates his own moral arguments against state coercion. Williams also briefly suggests a few things he thinks libertarians should be doing if they want the libertarian movement to grow.”
https://www.libertarianism.org/media/video-collection/walter-e-williams-libertarians-liberty

 

Mr. Malcolm X:

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“Malcolm X, for one, was very critical of the U.S. government’s international meddling, particularly in Africa, as well as its social and governmental hypocrisy when confronted with the plight of American blacks. Although embraced by the radical Left, Malcolm’s speeches and writings were not in the spirit of Karl Marx or even Howard Zinn—he preached personal responsibility, entrepreneurship, mistrust of the government, and the unquestionable right to self-defense. This isn’t to say Malcolm was a libertarian, but the ideas that permeate the American Dream have also been prevalent throughout black America’s political and social history, in some form or another. The United States is, thankfully, in a much different place than it was in the 1960s, but the desire to be free and prosperous is just as alive among black Americans, and it has been there for centuries. Perhaps, then, the problem is in the messaging.”
https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/why-are-there-so-few-black-libertarians

 

Mr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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“Martin Luther King Jr. was a strong believer in civil disobedience and disobeying unjust laws. That belief was the starting point for every one of his marches and demonstrations. Libertarians today hold that an unjust law is no law at all, as we believe in natural law and natural rights. The government cannot simply pass laws that take away our natural rights, and those laws should not be obeyed.  The other base for Martin Luther King Jr.’s protests and speeches was his strict belief that they should be non-violent. He rightfully understood that he would never achieve his goals through force. Libertarians believe in the non-aggression principle, which states aggression against another’s property is inherently illegitimate. The most important property of all is our bodies, and therefore violence against another person is the worst form of violence. Martin Luther King Jr. agreed with that sentiment and consistently preached non-violent methods for protest. Martin Luther King Jr. displayed libertarian ideals in foreign policy and his famous opposition to the Vietnam War. King saw the dangers of American imperialism abroad and the threat to freedom that it posed at home as well.”

https://alibertarianfuture.com/famous-libertarians/famous-libertarian-quotes/martin-luther-king-jrs-famous-libertarian-quote/

 

Mr. Richard Boddie:

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Mr. Boddie describes himself as an ‘Aframerican individualist’ and ‘secular evangelist.’ Mr. Boddie is a ‘people person’ who can transmit people skills to others. His charisma, personality, background, life experience and vision establish the foundation of his mission: ‘To teach and share the ideals and ideas of individual achievement and individual liberty with others – everyday, for the rest of my life.’

-Highest vote getter ever in Libertarian Party History for U.S. Senate

-250,000 in California’s 1992 election

-Runner up for Libertarian Party Presidential Nomination in Chicago 8/31/91 for 1992 race

-Beat the margin of victory between the Republican and Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate in California 1994

-Current Chairman of Orange County Libertarian Party (Region 40 of the California Libertarian Party).

-Executive Director, Focus PAC

-Executive Director & Founder, Socially Tolerant Caucus of the Libertarian Party

-President and Founder, The Motivators motivational speakers bureau.”
http://www.chrononhotonthologos.com/inactive/focus/rbbcv.htm

*Here is a much more extensive list of Black-American libertarians

 

Black-American Libertarian/ Libertarian-Leaning Celebrities

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“Chris Rock is known to be politically cynical and may even be heard praising Democrats and ripping into Republicans. Rock may have even been a little too complimentary of socialist liberals at times, favoring President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Al Gore, reportedly  donating $42,100 Democratic campaigns.
An important distinction to make is that Rock’s views are not always so one-sided. In fact, some of Rock’s quotations have been ideologically consistent with resisting the idea of a ‘collective’. Here’s a list of 10 Chris Rock Quotations that sound more libertarian than liberal:”
http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/10-chris-rock-quotes-that-are-libertarian-as-fck/

 

Ray2

“Anthony Ray (Sir-Mix-A-Lot)

Known For: Grammy Award-winning single ‘Baby Got Back’

Libertarian Leanings: It’s a known trope that most rappers hate taxes and Ray is no exception. However, one particular song called ‘Take My Stash’ off of his Chief Booth Knocka album seems to go a level deeper:”
http://www.thisispw.com/post/94353746341/5-rappers-with-libertarian-leaning-views-and-one

 

Boi2

Rapper Big Boi of Outkast explains to Huffington Post why he’s a Libertarian and talks the importance of thinking independently. “I’m a libertarian. I’m, you know, liberty justice for all. Liberty for all. Im really pro people, pro freedom, and you know its all about positivity.”

 

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“Eric July is America’s top black Christian anarcho-capitalist rap-metal artist.” Reason Magazine  Mr. Eric July is a full time activist for the Libertarian movement being a vocalist in his band “BackWordz” & co-founder of Being Libertarian.

 

The following candidates have partnered with Ask A Libertarian in the past or are currently partnering with us to provide Public AMA’s (Ask Me Anything). Check out the links to their AMA events below:

 

Black-American Libertarian Candidates

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Karese Laguerre for NJ Lieutenant Governor under Libertarian candidate Peter Rohrman. Ms. Karese Laguerrec will be available to answer your questions during her guest appearance on Ask A Libertarian via live video feed. Her Live AMA is scheduled for October 15th at 7pm (est).

 

Sharpe2

Larry Sharpe is running for Governor of New York. Mr Sharpe will be available to answer your questions via live video feed during his Live AMA on October 17th at 8pm (est).

 

windstarr2

Nickolas Wildstar is running for Governor of California. Mr. Wildstar will be available to answer your questions via live video feed during his AMA scheduled for January 15th (Martin Luther King Jr. day). The time for this event is TBA.

 

fleurr2

Gary St. Fleur is running for Mayor of Scranton, PA. “Gary St. Fleur, chair of the Lackawanna County LP, who has been working to bring runaway taxes, spending, and high debt under control in Scranton, Pennsylvania, is now running for mayor on the Libertarian ticket.” https://www.lp.org/libertarian-gary-st-fleur-rattling-cages-scranton-mayoral-race/

Mr. St. Fleur, along with seven other tax payers, recently sued Scranton Pennsylvania’s local government over illegal tax hikes.  The city was forced to adhere to Act 511, which caps taxes. https://www.lp.org/major-tax-victory-scranton-thanks-libertarian-gary-st-fleur/

Click here to view Mr. Gary St. Fleur’s previous Public AMA.

 

Why libertarianism is the most caring solution for minorities

“1.1 Self-Ownership

Individuals own their bodies and have rights over them that other individuals, groups, and governments may not violate. Individuals have the freedom and responsibility to decide what they knowingly and voluntarily consume, and what risks they accept to their own health, finances, safety, or life.”

Www.Lp.org/platform

“Certainly, the Drug War has been the largest driver of the disproportionate black and Hispanic prison populations in recent years, both through the incarceration of non-violent offenders and prosecuting those people involved in the violence associated with prohibition regimes. But the tensions between blacks and the American justice system did not start with Nixon’s War on Drugs in 1971.”
https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/looking-back-look-forward-blacks-liberty-state

“2.0 ECONOMIC LIBERTY

Libertarians want all members of society to have abundant opportunities to achieve economic success. A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner. Each person has the right to offer goods and services to others on the free market. The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society.”

Www.lp.org/platform

“A free market consists of economic freedom such that anybody could open a business without having to pay the government for permission (permits, licenses, etc). A free market would have no taxes,eliminating reasons for corporations to partner with politicians for tax breaks. A free market would not allow bailouts, allowing businesses to have setbacks, and avoiding the creation of artificial monopolies. These economic freedoms would enable new competition to compete more efficiently.”

https://askalibertarian.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/how-free-markets-empower-green-markets/

Understandably, free markets in America are often blamed for allowing slavery. This is indubitably incorrect. The government failing to enforce the non-aggression principle is what allowed slavery in America. Even though libertarians support free markets, we also believe that slavery violates human rights, and therefore should not be considered a “free market” practice.

“The non-aggression principle (also called the non-aggression axiom, or the anti-coercion or zero aggression principle or non-initiation of force) is an ethical stance which asserts that ‘aggression’ is inherently illegitimate. ‘aggression’ is defined as the ‘initiation’ of physical force against persons or property, the threat of such, or fraud upon persons or their property. In contrast to pacifism, the non-aggression principle does not preclude violent self-defense. The principle is a deontological (or rule-based) ethical stance.”

https://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Principle_of_non-aggression

“You might have heard the Libertarian Party (LP) referred to as the ‘Party of Principle.’ This is because the LP bases its programs and policy positions on the non-aggression principle.”

https://www.theadvocates.org/aggression/

 

In liberty,

Travis Hallman

 

 

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Government Unchained

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Jeremy Medley, September 14, 2017

Federalism is defined by Merriam-Webster as “The distribution of power in an organization (such as a government) between a central authority and the constituent units.” Our founders were so intent on this idea that they gave us the Tenth Amendment in our Bill of Rights. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution delegated few enumerated powers to the Federal Government, reserving all remaining powers to the States and the people. Thus, powers of the Federal Government were meant to be limited by our founders, with no exception. They knew then, as we are learning now, the true dangers of a government unfettered and the beast it can become.

Our federal republic was created by joint action of the several states. It has been gradually perverted into a socialist machine for federal control in the domestic affairs of the states and the individual. The Federal Government has no authority to mandate policies relating to state affairs, natural resources, transportation, private business, housing, nor healthcare. Yet these gross violations of our rights happen every day. We, as a society, are more in awe of what celebrities are wearing, or how our favorite football team is doing. We have given up on the idea that the government is beholden to the people. What caused this societal shift to take place? Can we right the course? The people must call on the Federal Government to close all unconstitutional federal agencies that usurp state power and infringe on the rights of this nation’s citizenry, such as the NSA, EPA, IRS, DEA, DHS, etc.

Throughout our history, as a nation we have allowed the Federal Government to squeeze the rights of the people away. We have nearly nothing left to give, but our labor and our lives. President Lincoln is regarded by many historians as a hero of the nation.  However, the issue of slavery aside, he was actually nothing more than a tyrannical ruler who discarded the constitution as it suited him, when southern states attempted secession.  President Franklin Roosevelt vowed to fill the Supreme Court with justices friendly to New Deal policies, which helped pave the way for our current welfare state. President Johnson and his “War on Poverty” has laid a tax burden on the people that is nearly unsustainable. President Nixon attacked the African American community with the “War on Drugs.” In recent history, Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump implemented legislation which has basically thrown your cConstitutional rights out the window with the Patriot Act. The blame does not only lie at the feet of the presidents, but they are the figurative head of the beast. “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin. Yet, we have given up the the warm embrace of liberty to suckle the teat of big government.

In a nation that honors itself on freedom we have allowed basic liberties to be swept away by a few legislators like thieves in the night. Why is there no outcry? What happened to the idea of “Give me liberty or give me death”?  Does this only apply in times of national threat or crisis? If so, aren’t we standing at the precipice of a cliff on which we will be unable to climb back? Yet, we still elect the same failed officials for political expedience. We can’t be bothered with the corrupt or troublesome world of politics unless it is sensationalized via Facebook, soundbite, or tweet.

Libertarians see atrocities across the globe committed in the guise of government doing what is right for the people, and for “freedom.” In the words of Ronald Reagan  “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”

Our nation was started by individuals who were tired of the corrupt and oppressive rule of a government that never truly cared for its commoners, the same as we have today. Their political awakening started as a grassroots movement much like ours. Let our voices not go quietly in the night and unheard as if we were never here. We must continue our pursuit of true liberty for all.

 

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